The Stockeld Park Christmas Adventure is definitely one of our favourite Christmas family traditions! It’s somewhere we’ve been many times as a family and I don’t think we’ve ever had anything other than an amazing family day!
If you’ve never heard of the Stockeld Park Christmas Adventure before, it’s located between Harrogate and Wetherby in North Yorkshire and is exactly what it says it is – a Christmas Adventure. There’s an Illuminated Maze to navigate around, an enchanted forest filled with magical things to see and numerous playparks for the kids dotted around the forest walkway, an undercover outdoor ice-skating rink and a Nordic ski course through the enchanted forest, Santa’s grotto and a Christmas shop. There’s so much to see and do and everything is so Christmassy that it really does make the best family day out at Christmas!
We usually visit on the Sunday of the second weekend in December which is perfect for us – not too early that we feel silly wearing our Christmas jumpers and not too late that it interferes with the million and one things that we always have in our diaries the closer we get to Christmas.
I don’t think I’ve ever got around to writing a post about the fun we’ve had over the years as our visits usually coincide with the time that I start to wind down for the year but I really want to share what a great family day out it is so I thought I’d tell you about last year’s trip in case you want to plan a visit this festive season with your family.
I should say first up that, as much as we love our annual visit, the Stockeld Park Christmas Adventure is definitely not a frugal day out! Last year we paid £52 for entry for the four of us which includes entry to the Enchanted Forest and the Illuminated Maze and on top of that, we paid an extra £6.50 for each of the kids so they could do the skiing and the ice skating. That made the cost of the day around £65 which is probably on a par with what you would pay for a family panto visit – something we actually stopped doing the year we started doing this as we felt that this was much better value for money.
The Enchanted Forest at the Stockeld Park Christmas Adventure
The walk around the enchanted forest is definitely my favourite part of the day! It’s always the first thing we do when we get there in the afternoon as we go with friends who have younger children who like to play in the many playparks that are dotted around the walk through the forest. The parks close when it gets dark so we wander around once to do the playparks and then come back to it later to see everything lit up. The best way to share how amazing the Enchanted Forest really is is to show you…
Wherever you look, there’s something to see and it’s impossible to walk around the forest without feeling magical. Even Mr Frugal who’s usually like the Grinch until he finishes work on Christmas Eve loves it!
The Illuminated Maze at the Stockeld Park Christmas Adventure
The Illuminated Maze is so much fun with lots of surprises to discover around every turn and although we’ve never managed to not find our way out, quite a lot of people have apparently got lost in there! There’s a map as you walk in that you can take a photo of which I’d recommend doing, just in case. 😉
Nordic Skiing at the Stockeld Park Christmas Adventure
Mr Frugal and I did the Nordic Skiing with the kids the first time we visited but honestly, it isn’t the easiest thing to do and it’s bloody tiring so we usually sit it out these days. The Nordic Skiing is basically skiing around the Enchanted Forest on a green carpet and as much as the kids love the idea of it and are happy to queue (20 minutes this year) to go on, they tend to get half way around and wish they were done.
The ski ‘carpet’ for the most part runs alongside the walkway through the Enchanted Forest so it’s easy to keep an eye on the kids if you don’t want to join them. **I think there’s a minimum age of 6/8 to ski.**
Ice-skating at the Stockeld Park Christmas Adventure
This is always a highlight for Miss Frugal who loves ice-skating so we always end up on the ice rink at some point no matter how long the queues are. This ice rink itself has improved so much over the years we’ve been going – at one point it was quite a wet rink so we always had to take a change of clothes as one fall would leave the kids soaking wet but these days it’s so much better.
Top Tips for an Amazing Day
- Remember exactly where you parked your car! There is no actual car park and you’re directed to park in fields which all look the same when you’re trying to find your car later on when it’s dark.
- Take a picnic with you and plan to eat it in the car. The cafe there has plenty of seats but the queues are HUGE and never seem to move very fast. Other than a drink each, we usually leave our picnic in the car and walk back over halfway through the day to eat it. That way we don’t have to carry food about or try and find a spare picnic table.
- Wrap up warm and take some blankets in the car to snuggle in when you get back to the car.
Is it worth the money?
It might not be the cheapest day out that you’ll have this Christmas but I can pretty much guarantee that it’s the most Christmassy day out you’ll have if you decide to visit! To us, it’s worth saving up to go as we have such a good day!
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